SBD/Issue 176/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In St. Louis, Jim Thomas reports it is "looking more and more" like Stan Kroenke will be the Rams' next owner after receiving the "strongest public endorsement yet" of his efforts to buy the remaining 60% of the team. NFL owners will not vote on Kroenke's bid during their meetings this week, but Saints Owner Tom Benson yesterday said, "Everybody wants him as an owner, I can tell you." Kroenke has told the NFL that he "cannot be in compliance with the cross-ownership rules at this time, but is asking the league to approve his purchase of the Rams with his promise that he will reach compliance with those rules in time" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/25).

Writer Calls Hunsicker "Baseball Brains"
Of Rays' Front Office

GROWING INTO IT: Baseball writer Murray Chass wrote that Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg and his "neophyte staff have been able to overcome the deep, deep hole" that former Owner Vincent Naimoli put the team in is "one of the most impressive developments in modern baseball history." Rays Senior VP/Baseball Operations Gerry Hunsicker is the "baseball brains of the organization," aiding Sternberg, who was a "baseball neophyte" when he bought the club in '05, and Exec VP/Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, a former investment banker. Now the front office operates in a "winning, intelligent way," which is "180 degrees from the way Naimoli ran" the club (MURRAYCHASS.com, 5/23).

WE HAVE A PROBLEM: In Houston, Richard Justice noted the Astros have the NL's worst record at 15-29 and attendance at Minute Maid Park is down 30% from '07, so "apathy is replacing anger" for fans and the "passion is gone." Houston fans "think the Astros are a joke," a team that is "old, bad and boring on the field, and stupid in the front office." The empty seats "are a referendum" on team Owner Drayton McLane, and if he "wants to make it only about the economy, if that's why he thinks there are acres of empty seats, that's either sad or funny." Justice: "He just seems incapable of dealing in reality. ... He talks a lot about leadership. This is a time when the Astros desperately need some" (CHRON.com, 5/24).  

NIFTY FIFTY: The Cowboys yesterday unveiled the logo that the team will display prominently throughout the '10 NFL season in celebration of the franchise's 50th anniversary. The logo will be featured on the team's jerseys next season, in addition to being displayed on all printed club materials (Cowboys).

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